AllGolf Center provides large practice facilities where you can hone both your long and short game, rain or shine. Sharpen your drive on a two-tiered driving range with targets and landing areas, or focus on putting in the 36-hole mini-golf courses and practice-putting areas. Each AllGolf Center even has onsite 18-hole golf courses littered with hazards, where players can test their new techniques and audition new caddies. If you need a break, you can check out new clubs at the fully stocked pro shop or take horizontal swings in the onsite batting cages.
The founder of Start to Finish Golf, PGA-certified instructor Lucas Cohen, helps golfers improve their swings with a simple, effective teaching philosophy. Cohen’s Start to Finish Concept focuses on establishing the proper grip, posture, alignment, and ball position. The curriculum also stresses finishing the swing on balance and holding the postswing pose—back heel off the ground, club wrapped around the opposite shoulder, hips facing the target, and eyes toward the judges after sticking the landing—well after contact. Cohen and his team of instructors have honed their practice with more than 25 years experience and 30,000 lessons taught.
The Start to Finish concept’s underlying philosophy is that golfers who begin and end their swing with sound, consistent form are likely to excel when making contact with the ball in the middle of the swing. Cohen has proven that his methods work, as he has twice been published in PGA Magazine and boasts a record of success as a player, a coach, and a sand-wedge sorcerer.
The one-hour golf lesson, which includes all course or practice-facility fees, requires golfers to bring their own clubs to have their golf needs assessed and addressed by a PGA-certified instructor. The private schooling may include tips on proper alignment, grip, posture, ball position, swing mechanics, and more. Cloud 9 has partnered with golfing professionals and tee-off locales all over the country, including six participating teachers and courses in the Miami area: Daniel Larkin at the Atlantis Country Club in Atlantis; Doug Feldman at The Club at Pelican Bay in Daytona Beach; Marty Maisa at Inverrary Country Club in Lauderhill; Lucas Cohen at Grand Palms Resort & Country Club in Pembroke Pines, multiple instructors at Palm-Aire Golf Academy in Pompano Beach, and Mark Arnold at Longboat Key Club & Resort in Longboat Key.
Monster Mini Golf welcomes guests of all ages with 18 holes of spooky, glow-in-the-dark fun. Fog machines, colorful lasers, and special effects lighting surround the custom-designed indoor course. Meanwhile, an energetic soundtrack of 70s, 80s, and 90s party music keeps spirits high as the visitors conquer each hole?s monster-themed obstacles and hazards. In between songs, the course DJ pumps up the crowds with interactive games and trivia questions, rewarding lucky winners with take-home prizes. Groups of family and friends can visit Monster Mini Golf?s arcade and play on the glowing air hockey tables, skee ball machines, and other games.
Shula’s Athletic Club—named for Don Shula, the NFL Hall of Famer who coached the Miami Dolphins to a Super Bowl trophy in 1972—doesn’t find it hard to fill its sprawling 40,000 square feet of space. A cardio room with more than 50 pieces of equipment, a spinning center, weight rooms, fitness-class studios, and basketball courts spread through the facility, luring athletes for independent workouts and personal-training sessions. Dozens of weekly fitness classes range from calorie-burning Zumba workouts and Vinyasa-yoga sessions to spin classes that help students practice for the day they have pedal-powered cars.
The athletic club also accommodates older exercisers with aquatic aerobics and seated Silver Sneakers workouts, and it keeps kids busy with confidence-building youth sports programs. Young legs run over a new 60-yard athletic field or nine lighted tennis courts where kids whack tennis balls and low-flying hot-air balloons with rackets.
The Miami area’s vibrant confluence of cultures and languages—as well as its uninhibited consumerism—serve as a captivating mixture from the moment travelers arrive. The atmosphere in Miami Lakes is somewhat subdued, with a small Main Street district and a coterie of local restaurants such as laid-back Cuban café Casavana. In nearby South Beach’s Art Deco District, architecture appears in Technicolor straight out of the 1930s. It’s the American version of the tropics—a clean, breezy haven with street-side cafes, where people-watching is de rigueur and the beaches are thronged with beautiful people. Just north, the lively Oceanside resort area of Sunny Isles Beach harbors even more picturesque public beaches. Boats docked on the Intracoastal Waterway at Haulover Beach Park beckon ocean exploration through deep-sea fishing charters and watersport rentals. After weaving past an eclectic crowd of paddleboarders, stereo-toting locals, and sun-tanning tourists, vacationers can head across the street to Epicure, a full-service gourmet market and café that peddles supplies for picnic lunches and offers all-day beach parking for $5.Just west of Miami Lakes, the Everglades’ Gator Park offers narrated airboat tours that start slow, plodding through 8–12-inch depths, before revving their Cadillac engines into full throttle in search of alligators, American crocodiles, exotic birds, and sitcom stars jumping sharks. The squawk of exotic parrots permeates the private sanctuary, as snakes slither up handler's backs and guests feel the small scaly skin of tiny alligators—a sensory escape from the concrete jungle of Miami. Although Don Shula's Hotel & Golf Club sometimes offers discounted pricing online, this Groupon is still the best deal available.